I hope you’ve all seen the campaign for women to stop saying sorry before they ask a question, pose an idea, need an answer, or are just protecting their own space. The campaign is great and you should all check it out. The video centres on women being strong with the little things that have a greater impact on the way we are viewed by men. But there was one instance that the video did not capture and I’m not sure that they could have in under a minute; when a women compromises what she believes and what she wants to please her significant other and stay together. When she says sorry for wanting what she wants.
Every relationship is built on compromise and sacrifice, but also love and friendship. You can’t have a meaningful relationship without the latter. Sometimes it takes a large bump in the road to realise you have all the compromise and sacrifice but the love and friendship are just not there anymore.
A very old friend of mine recently found herself at a crossroads. She broke up with a man who came back from a foreign country to be with her. They had already dated once before and found the distance to be too hard. He made a huge commitment to set up roots near her to be with her. He sacrificed career opportunities to please her and make her happy, but in the end, what she wanted was a man willing to be with her physically, mentally, and spiritually. This man was not Jewish and she was.
For some people, living in a household with multiple faiths works perfectly. Everyone is happy and the family figures it all out in a way that works for them, but in my friend’s case, she did not want to live that life and her significant other could not understand why. Should she have to compromise on her religious beliefs just to please her boyfriend? Some might say yes, however, this man had already convinced my friend of his willingness to convert. He met with a rabbi, learned about the Jewish faith and always said how he didn’t mind bringing up Jewish children and then, out of nowhere, he throws a curve ball at my friend and changes his mind. He no longer thinks it’s important and will not convert. What would you have done? She eventually ended the relationship. The subject caused so much anxiety and friction that their relationship lost the love and friendship and turned into all sacrifice. There wasn’t even compromise anymore. Both individuals felt they were giving up what they believed and what they wanted, all to please the other person who, in the end, didn’t want what was on the table anymore.
This situation is so individual and you have to make the decision that’s right for you but no one should have to compromise their beliefs to please another. If you really can’t see yourself living both ways then you don’t have to. All she could think about in the days following her break up was how she blind-sided this man who gave up so much to be with her. She thought maybe she was being stubborn and that it was not a big deal if he converted or not but the more she thought about it, the more she realised it was something she wanted.
Growing up in a house where her father converted and lead the family in the Jewish life was all she’d known and it was what she truly wanted. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. She shouldn’t have to force herself into a relationship that she might end up regretting one day and deep down, she knew she would. If the subject was already causing so much turmoil in their relationship, one can only imagine what it would be like during the holidays. The ex-boyfriend shouldn’t have to compromise either. If he wants to live in a Christian house with Christian beliefs then he shouldn’t have to give that up if it’s that important to him. No one should have to apologise for wanting what they want. They have to live with how those wants affect their lives but they don’t have to apologise for them.
I think it’s a powerful thing, realising what you want, what’s important to you and sticking to it. No apologies.